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What are some of the important facts about cardiovascular disease?

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Quick Answer

Cardiovascular disease can be the result of plaque buildup in the arteries, which prevents the proper flow of blood and can lead to heart attack, stroke or another serious medical event, explains the American Heart Association. Other types of cardiovascular disease include heart failure, in which the heart does not pump blood as well as it should; arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm; and heart valve problems, in which the valves of the heart do not open or close properly.

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Full Answer

A heart attack occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to part of the heart, and as a result, that area of heart tissue begins to die. Most people survive their first heart attack, but outcomes vary based on the degree of heart disease and the damage to the heart during the attack, says the American Heart Association. The most common type of stroke occurs when a blood clot blocks the flow of blood to the brain, causing brain cells to die. As a result, the brain loses some of its ability to function, and in many cases the damage is permanent.

There are different types of arrhythmia, causing the heart to beat too fast, too slowly or irregularly. This can affect the heart's ability to pump sufficient blood to the body, states the American Heart Association. Heart valve disorders prevent the blood from flowing through the heart in the correct amount, letting through too much or too little.

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